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How to trace a Chinese family tree


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#1 ChangPing

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 09:54 AM

Hi all, I am a chinese living overseas. I just want to ask is it possible for overseas to trace back the family tree? And from young i heard from my father that chinese with the same surname once belonged to the same village in China. For example, people with surname of "lin" live in the same village? Anyone knows how true is that?
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#2 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 10:01 AM

I think people who wants to trace their ancestor root would have to go to Singapore Immigration or Government dept to check where their ancestor 'originates' from.. for e.g. there might be documentations that have detail info on where your Grandparents come from.

Also, check out the Graveyard, Church or Temples where they handled your ancestor's burial.. they do have info on where you ancestor originate from, which city for e.g.

Alternatively, one can trace the root through the surname, or through genealogy DNA test....
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#3 Liang Jieming

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 02:23 AM

Hi all, I am a chinese living overseas. I just want to ask is it possible for overseas to trace back the family tree? And from young i heard from my father that chinese with the same surname once belonged to the same village in China. For example, people with surname of "lin" live in the same village? Anyone knows how true is that?

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Hi and welcome!

Good to know you're trying to search your family tree. I've been doing that since 1998. It gets harder and harder the further you get (obviously). Start with family members, interviewing the old folks. Then move on to graveyards and read the tombstone inscriptions etc. The Clan associations are the next stop. In the last few generations we've ignored recordings of births and deaths into clan associations but our grandparents generations most like did so they would have their family lineage well preserved there. Trace it as far as you can get until you find the ancestor who first went overseas from China. The record there would end and instead give the location of your ancestor's village in China. Then comes the really hard part. You'll have to go to China and try and get your hands onto the clan records in that village. Most small villages are composed almost entirely of the same surname so that kinda helps.

A friend has managed to trace his ancestry from Singapore back to Hainan island, then back 1000 years of Hainan island back to Shandong province for another 1000 years there right up to an official who was accorded the surname by the emperor. They even found the grave for his clothes and official gowns though not his actual grave.

Pretty amazing because they just had a huge gathering in Hainan recently with a few thousand people from all over the world attending. His advice was that once you reach the China part of your research, you'll need to engage a Chinese historian to search imperial records which are only available to historians and not the common person.

Alas, I haven't even gotten to a fraction of that yet but I'm still trying.

Good luck and best wishes. Let us know how it goes.

#4 ChangPing

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 01:13 PM

WOW... That's really amazing!!!

I have been gathering information from my relatives about my grandparents!
Only know that my great-grandparents are from Xi An. (溪安)

And one things is that i noticed that many hokkiens in Singapore are from Xi An! I really wonder what and why so there is big influx of hokkiens from Xi An to Singapore at that time... or was it just a pure coincidence? :g:

Anyway, Thx Jie ming and General! :D
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#5 ChangPing

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 01:35 PM

I found this from http://www.yutopian....15/15cai44.html

"Origin of Cai*, Tsai*, Choi*, Choy*, Chua*, Chye*
Famous People in History

The 44th most common last name in China. They are the descendents of the 5th son of Zhou Wu Wang, Shu Du. Shu Du was awarded the duke of Cai (Shangcai of Henan), and was known as Cai Shu. Together with Guan Shu and Huo Shu, they were known as the Three Guards. When Wu Wang died, his son Cheng Wang was too young, and Zhou Gong Dan was his guardian. Seeing that the power of Zhou Gong Dan was increasing, the Three Guards got jealous and rebelled against Zhou together with Wu Geng. Zhou Gong Dan suppressed the rebellion, and Cai Shu was exiled. Zhou Cheng Wang reestablished Cai Shus son Wu as the duke of Cai kingdom. After about 600 years, Chu brought Cai to an end, and its people began to bear the last name Cai.

Hometown: North west of Dingtao in Shandong Province."

Because it stated that the hometown is North west of Dingtao in Shandong province. Does it really mean that all overseas chinese whose surname is Cai might really have originated from this particular place? And is it possible for me to link up this place to "Xi An" 溪安? And so that i might know what happened to each of my ancestors?
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#6 ChangPing

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 01:39 PM

I found this from http://www.yutopian....15/15cai44.html

"Origin of Cai*, Tsai*, Choi*, Choy*, Chua*, Chye*
Famous People in History

The 44th most common last name in China. They are the descendents of the 5th son of Zhou Wu Wang, Shu Du. Shu Du was awarded the duke of Cai (Shangcai of Henan), and was known as Cai Shu. Together with Guan Shu and Huo Shu, they were known as the Three Guards. When Wu Wang died, his son Cheng Wang was too young, and Zhou Gong Dan was his guardian. Seeing that the power of Zhou Gong Dan was increasing, the Three Guards got jealous and rebelled against Zhou together with Wu Geng. Zhou Gong Dan suppressed the rebellion, and Cai Shu was exiled. Zhou Cheng Wang reestablished Cai Shus son Wu as the duke of Cai kingdom. After about 600 years, Chu brought Cai to an end, and its people began to bear the last name Cai.

Hometown: North west of Dingtao in Shandong Province."

Because it stated that the hometown is North west of Dingtao in Shandong province. Does it really mean that all overseas chinese whose surname is Cai might really have originated from this particular place? And is it possible for me to link up this place to "Xi An" 溪安? And so that i might know what happened to each of my ancestors?
CHinese Girl Living in s'pore for the whole life of 22 years studying in NTU materials engineering year 2.

#7 lobster

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 01:39 PM

Thanks ChangPing. I found this. :D

http://www.yutopian..../16/16lu42.html

Tang Dynasty- there were eight prime ministers with the last name Lu.

#8 ChangPing

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Posted 11 March 2005 - 01:46 PM

:D

WOW! Lobster! So the chances of ur ancestors being part of the royal family is much higher! haha

For my surname, i guess the one i would feel most proud of is Cai Lun during the Han Dynasty!!! BECAUSE he is the inventor of Paper!!!! One of the greatest inventions by China is invented By Cai family!
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#9 W Fēi

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 09:15 AM

For my surname, i guess the one i would feel most proud of is Cai Lun during the Han Dynasty!!! BECAUSE he is the inventor of Paper!!!! One of the greatest inventions by China is invented By Cai family!

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Sorry to say ... Cai Lun was a eunuch and probably had no descendants. Of course, if Cai Lun had brothers, it's good news for Cai's family, IMO. :P
Another thing is ... Cai Lun seemed not the INVENTOR of paper, but the most important improver who invented a method to make paper from more materials such as clouts, worn fishing net, and weed and so on, which finally pulled down the price of paper. One of the recent research tells that the method given by Cai Lun perhaps has something to do with improving the paper's quality to keep water's osmosis limited and maintain the ink as in the form of characters.

此生区区几十年,
Life takes decades,
如朝露,如幻影;
Short as morning dew and illusion;
几番意气几度浮华,
How much vigor,How many vanities,
不过梦中之梦。
Are only dreams played in a dream.

#10 Moose

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Posted 12 March 2005 - 09:46 AM

Sorry to say ... Cai Lun was a eunuch and probably had no descendants. Of course, if Cai Lun had brothers, it's good news for Cai's family, IMO. :P
Another thing is ... Cai Lun seemed not the INVENTOR of paper, but the most important improver who invented a method to make paper from more materials such as clouts, worn fishing net, and weed and so on, which finally pulled down the price of paper. One of the recent research tells that the method given by Cai Lun perhaps has something to do with improving the paper's quality to keep water's osmosis limited and maintain the ink as in the form of characters.

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Maybe she could be descended from Cai Mao from the 3 kingdoms period.
Flexibility is the key to success

#11 W Fēi

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 03:48 AM

Maybe she could be descended from Cai Mao from the 3 kingdoms period.

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Oh, but I remember he was killed by Cao Cao due to Zhou Yu's stratagem of sowing distrust between Cao Cao and those who surrendering over from Dong Wu.

此生区区几十年,
Life takes decades,
如朝露,如幻影;
Short as morning dew and illusion;
几番意气几度浮华,
How much vigor,How many vanities,
不过梦中之梦。
Are only dreams played in a dream.

#12 Guest_Tyler_*

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 03:21 PM

How far back do your family trees go or at least as far as you can go. I don't know why but I think Chinese would have better records since they are mostly from China Compaired to Europeans that moved to America.

#13 Moose

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 05:11 PM

Oh, but I remember he was killed by Cao Cao due to Zhou Yu's stratagem of sowing distrust between Cao Cao and those who surrendering over from Dong Wu.

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If my ancestor can be traced to the 3 kingdoms period,i could be descended from Deng Ai or Deng Zhi :)
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#14 Jiang Qin

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 07:55 AM

How about the surname "Lee". Is't the same with Li?
Has it any connections with the Korean's Lee family line too?

I'm from Malaysia and my great-grandfather came here from Hainan Island.
I think my family still has relatives there although we have lost contact with them long time ago. I think my great-granpa never went back there.

#15 Fobulous

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Posted 14 March 2005 - 09:35 AM

How about the surname "Lee". Is't the same with Li?
Has it any connections with the Korean's Lee family line too?

I'm from Malaysia and my great-grandfather came here from Hainan Island.
I think my family still has relatives there although we have lost contact with them long time ago. I think my great-granpa never went back there.

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Lee and Li should be the same 李




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